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Law careers

What are your law career options?
Career Development Centre
Summer clerking with a law firm
Dunedin Community Law Centre


What are your law career options?

The Faculty of Law offers a professional degree that can lead you to both expected and unexpected careers.

Most law students at Otago complete double degrees, using the flexible cross credit system, and find this opens up even more career opportunities.

Law firms

Within the legal sphere, private practice holds great variety. Firms can specialise in many areas, including commercial, property, public, environmental, banking, wills and trusts, family, criminal, sports, media, civil, tax, maritime, intellectual property and medical law.

Otago law graduates work in law firms throughout New Zealand and overseas. They can also be found in not-for-profit organisations like the United Nations, the International Labour Organisation and Amnesty International.

Government and private corporations

All government departments, local bodies and private corporations require lawyers for specialist legal advice.

Job hunting websites

Links to websites for larger employers of law graduates in New Zealand
Links to New Zealand websites advertising legal jobs

Career Development Centre

Students at Otago have access to the University’s Career Development Centre. It can help you explore career ideas and assist with course advice, as well as providing personal career counseling and information about specific jobs, employers and further study.

It also hosts InterviewStream, which provides valuable resources to assist you with your interviewing development, including a facility to conduct interviews and receive feedback from anyone with an email address, including the experts at the Career Development Centre.

Visit the University of Otago Career Development Centre website.
Visit the InterviewStream website.

Summer clerking with a law firm

Law students who have completed 3 or 4 years of study have the opportunity to apply for summer clerking positions.

Over the summer period – typically late November to mid February – students can work for law firms and gain experience for their future career as a lawyer. These positions are usually advertised in March of each year, for clerking during the following summer. Most of New Zealand's major law firms and several boutique and regional firms participate in this programme.

There is also the opportunity to apply for summer clerking positions in Australia.

Contact the Faculty about summer clerking positions kylie.perrin@otago.ac.nz

Dunedin Community Law Centre

Otago’s Faculty of Law has a long relationship with the Dunedin Community Law Centre.
Students in their third, fourth, fifth or sixth year of law can apply to volunteer at the centre. Volunteer student advisors work in a group of about 7 students, under the supervision of a shift leader and a volunteer lawyer.

Positions are advertised in early February (for volunteering from March to October/November) and in October (for volunteering over summer).

Further information is available on the Dunedin Community Law Centre